Friday, March 6, 2009

Oncidium Orchid Care

The genus Oncidium is a very old one. It ranges from hot coastal regions to the cold of 12,000 feet elevation. It is native to Mexico, Central and tropical South America, and the West Indies.

It has short, thick pseudobulbs and slender, graceful leaves.

Though the flowers are small compared to the Cattleya, they are a spray-type of considerable grace and charm. The blooms are flat, of silky texture, resembling a dancing girl with wide-spread skirts and tiny waist.

The clear bright yellow attained by some of the species is unsurpassed. An intermediate or cool house will serve.

Oncidiums, are sun-worshiper’s and when it comes to oncidium orchid care, they must not be allowed to shrivel. They need a great deal of water when growth is being completed and flowering is beginning, but require less after flowering. The bulbs of Cym-bidiums should not be allowed to shrivel.

Standing pots on damp gravel on the floor seems to give them the warmth at the top and coolness below that they find congenial. They prefer water at the roots at all times, but the potting mixture should be well drained and not soggy.

When it comes to oncidium orchid care, they seem to thrive on rafts of bark or blocks of wood. Potting material may be tied firmly around the base of the plant and container with wire, allowing the air-loving roots to wander at will.

Oncidiums, like Dendrobiums, do well in confinement. Their containers, which may be baskets or rafts, should be just large enough and, as a rule, hung in the light. Osmunda is a satisfactory medium.

When Oncidiums are potted in a basket there should be a great deal of crock and not much compost. Sphagnum may be added to the medium. The genus requires a lot of water and consequently adequate drainage.

When it comes to oncidium orchid care, they need a long dry rest after a well-watered growing season. It lacks pseudobulbs, but the heavy, leathery leaves are capable of storing food and water for the dormant period.

There are exceptions to this rule among the family: O. candidum, O. crispum, O. flexuosum, and O. micranthum require little or no rest and should be kept moist at all times; O. Lanceanum must be removed to a cooler spot and dried out, although not completely, for a short time during the winter.

All the other Oncidiums enjoy a scarcity of water during the rest period, with only enough moisture to keep the bulbs from shriveling.

A few oncidium orchid care tips to help you.

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